Okaloosa County Commissioners could join in on Purdue Pharma lawsuit

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Okaloosa County Commissioners could join in on the lawsuit against Purdue Pharma.

Okaloosa County Commissioners could have a seat at the table in the lawsuit against Purdue Pharma. (MGN)

County Attorney Greg Stewart says they are still looking for a law firm to represent their goals in the case, but they want any money they get out of the lawsuit to go back into fighting the opioid crisis.

"We would be looking towards future treatment of addictions, trying to address some of the adverse impacts that have occurred because of the opioid epidemic," said Stewart.

Stewart says this is important because Okaloosa County has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

"Obviously, it has decimated in terms of many people in our community and their families have been hurt, we have lost people obviously to addictions and overdoses," said Stewart.

Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley, says his department responds to about 10-12 opioid calls a day but says that they can only provide a temporary solution to a crisis.

"It's not a law enforcement issue, it's a societal issue," said Sheriff Ashley.

All Okaloosa County Deputies are trained to deliver Narcan, a drug to help people who are overdosing on opioids.

Sheriff Ashley says increases in the number of overdoses between 2017 and 2018 are putting a strain on his department.

"Think of all the drug calls we have in a year. If those didn't exist, how much more manpower would you have to deal with the other issues?" said Sheriff Ashley.

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